What is Vanda?

Pamela Pleasant
Pamela Pleasant

Vanda is a tender perennial plant native to India, China, and Australia. It belongs in the orchidaceae family of plants and is known for the large, colorful flowers it produces. Many gardeners choose to accent a garden area with this plant, but the flowers are also clipped and used in bouquets and floral arrangements. The vanda is considered a tropical plant and it cannot be grown in a cooler climate. Temperatures cannot go below 40 degrees (around four C), or the plant will not survive.

Man mowing the grass
Man mowing the grass

One interesting feature of the vanda is that it is able to grow with out land. It is an epiphyte plant, which means that it is able to grow on a tree or an object. The plant can gather nutrients and water from the air as it grows upwards. This plant can also be a lithophyte, which means that it can grow onto the base of rocks and cling to them. In this case, the Vanda can also live on peat moss and even litter.

The vanda plant has a series of longer leaves that grow outward from the stem. These leaves resemble a palm grass and are thicker and appear to be waxy. At the base of the stem, the leaves are tight and each side almost touches. As the leaflet extends, it relaxes and flattens out. The blooms grow from the center of the stem.

In early summer, the vanda plant produces colorful blooms. This flower consists of four round petals with one oblong petal on the top of the bloom. At the center of the flower, there is another petal-like feature that protrudes outward. Depending on the species, the vanda bloom can be yellow, burgundy, pink, or bright purple. The vanda flower also has a pleasing fragrance.

This plant can grow to reach two foot in height (around 50 cm). It requires full sun exposure to thrive, but it can be placed in shade as long as it is only for a short period of time. The plant cannot be grown in cooler climates but it can be placed in a pot and kept indoors as long as it receives ample sunlight throughout the day. Holes should be put on the bottom of the pot to allow excess water to drain away from the root system. Over watering can damage or kill this type of plant.

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